GOP hardliners in the House are preventing the spending stopgap

Reply to McCarthy’s “Decision to pass a stop gap bill” regarding the extension of the budget to the Central Bank of the United States

House conservatives blocked a Republican bill to avoid a government shutdown, dealing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy another defeat with the clock ticking toward the midnight deadline on Saturday when federal agencies run out of money.

The latest display of Congress’s inability to function is the failure, which took place in the midst of a government shutdown. House Republicans have been mired in internal battles over spending and political tactics that have put them at odds with Democrats and most Republicans in the Senate.

The Senate is attempting to pass a bipartisan bill to avert a shutdown, but may not approve it before a shutdown begins.

McCarthy ignored the Senate’s proposal and chose to move ahead on a GOP crafted measure funded agencies through October 31 and included border security provisions that were part of a Republican-passed bill. It also included a provision creating a bipartisan commission to study the national debt.

But going into the vote there were already a block of hardliners who said they wouldn’t approve any short term bill, many of them demanding that Congress complete action on all 12 spending bills. The GOP members who voted against it were 21.

Republicans were not moved. Their argument all along has been that Congress should have their work writing spending bills, not pass stop gaps. The congressman from Arizona continued his stance before the vote.

Jim McGovern stated in the floor debate that the GOP bill is a waste of time, and that the White House already had a veto threat against it.

Democrats denounced the steep spending cuts in the GOP bill, instead of keeping current spending levels for all agencies, the measure walled off a few departments, but slashed others by 30 percent.

Communities that have been damaged by disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Rita would be left out to dry, allies would be stripped of a billion dollars and our communities would be less safe under the bill. This bill raises costs on American families at a time when the cost of living is already too high,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations bill said.

The Senate bill would keep government agencies funded through November 17. It includes $5 billion for disaster aid and $6 billion for assistance for Ukraine. McCarthy objected to adding more money for Ukraine to a stopgap bill and argued that Congress needed to address the situation at the southwest border.

A group of Senate Republicans and Independent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are working on an amendment to the Senate bill that would address border security, in an attempt to make it more palatable to the GOP House. It is not known if their efforts will get the support of Senate Democrats. Some House Republicans are against giving any additional aide to Ukraine.

A group of House Republicans and Democrats have been meeting to push a bipartisan plan in the event of a shutdown, many of them representing swing districts across the country, and warning about the negative impact of any shutdown.

But the loss also made clear that Mr. McCarthy faces almost impossible odds of getting a stopgap funding bill through with votes from his own party alone, and that the simplest way to avert a shutdown would be for him to work with Democrats on a compromise measure. His detractors have warned that he would be ousted from the speakership.

House G.O.P. leaders were unable to come up with a path forward after a two-hour closed-door meeting. The discussion centered on how to come up with another plan after Mr. McCarthy’s defeat, and how to encourage conservatives to vote for the stopgap funding legislation.

The House Republicans were without a clear idea of what would be asked of them on Saturday, just a day before the government is set to shut down. A bare-bones 14-day stopgap bill emerged as one possibility for Republicans, though it was far from clear if it could pass.

Republicans came out of the meeting “all over the map,” said Representative Steve Womack, Republican of Arkansas and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. He said that the bipartisan stopgap plan would be put to a vote if the Republicans did not pass a funding bridge.

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